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20121205
20121213
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in the heartland of the united states. perhaps no place in america more closely associated with unions than the state of michigan. and today, thousands of union workers descended on the capital to protest a new law they believe could be an ominous signal for unions and worker paychecks everywhere. here's abc's alex perez. >> reporter: the anger boiling over. officers turning to pepper spray to control the crowd at least 10,000 deep. but it wasn't enough. michigan republican lawmakers approving landmark legislation, lifting the requirement that workers in unionized workplaces pay union dues. an army of officers have been guarding the governor's office all day. some of these demonstrators have been here since 5:00 this morning. the republican governor has signed the law. >> with a stroke of a pen, take our rights away. it's offensive. >> reporter: supporters call it right to work, but unions say it's nothing less than an effort to cut their bargaining power. less dues means less influence. the afl-cio says the average worker in right to work states earns $1,500 less than workers in states wit
marriage under federal law as the union of one man and one woman. the justices will also decide whether states have the power to ban gay marriage. and 30 states have laws that do just that. it's been a breathtaking year of change on the issue. president obama, in a switch from 2008, announced his support for gay marriage in a may interview with abc's robin roberts. >> for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that i think same sex couples should be able to get married. >> reporter: on election day last month, voters approved gay marriage at the ballot box for the first time, after dozens of defeats, when maine, maryland and washington state legalized it. but now, it all comes down to the nine justices of the supreme court, and they are generally conservative on social issues, though they're closely divided. for opponents of gay marriage, the very fabric of our society is at stake. >> the fundamental reason why marriage is treated as a public institution rather than a purely private relationship is because it serves the interest of society and the interest of child
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